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May 2006 Off-Road Rides - Readers Rides

Posted in Features on May 1, 2006
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Ed Maniotes is a frequent flyer at the popular four-wheel-drive playground in Tellico, Tennessee. He has been rebuilding his '84 Toyota 4Runner over the past few years and has turned it into his dream machine. His ride sports a custom-made 4-inch suspension lift (that Ed and his friends came up with) running Rancho RS 9000 adjustable shocks. Both the front and rear pumpkins are stuffed with 4.88 ring-and-pinion gearsets as well as Detroit Lockers. For additional power, he added a K&N cold-air induction system, Thorley headers, a Centerforce II clutch, and a MagnaFlow exhaust system. Under the Toyota you will find 33-inch SSR Swamper tires with an ARB front bumper, Ramsey RE 8000 winch, and All-Pro Off-Road rock sliders for rock protection. As you can see from the photos, Ed is no stranger to pushing his ride's limits.

Randy Swartz and his family definitely like having a good time in the woods near their home in Sinking Spring, Pennsyl-vania. When stopped on the trail they even bring along the off-road toys for the kids to play with. Check out the remote-controlled rockcrawler Jeep vehicle that we featured a few months back in our Off-Road Alternatives section.

Randy's '94 Ford Explorer Sport is equipped with a 4-inch Trail Master suspension lift, a 4-inch body lift, 35-inch Mud King radial tires, and 15x10-inch Mickey Thompson alloy wheels. To keep his right foot happy, he added a K&N charger system and Raven Performance exhaust. His Explorer is also set up to run an onboard air system for quick refill of tires on the trail, as well as a Uniden CB for communication with other vehicles in his party. Future plans for Randy's Ford include the addition of 4.56 ring-and-pinion gears, a set of rock sliders for protection, and a roof rack for more storage space.

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